Are You Enjoying Your Spiritual Gifts?

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. The first questions should likely be, Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Have you uncovered the special gems of giftedness that God created within you? If so, are you using those gifts in your daily life and to benefit your local church body?

The key to understanding our unique giftedness is to embrace the fact that God has our best interests at heart. He wants us to be happy. He knows what gifts will bring us true joy – and will bring Him glory! Let me explain with two unique stories of two special ladies in my life. They were each on the same journey as you and I, but only one had a happy ending.

Sherice was in a Discipleship Class with me years ago. She was well known for her gift of hospitality. Not only in opening up her home, but also in her abilities in cooking and baking. (I personally call that part of her natural abilities as the 'gift of entertaining'!) She oozes hospitality. She’s never met a stranger. Loves to have people into her home. Loves to make people feel special. Loves to meet needs. She's just plain awesome!

Anyway, our class did a study on spiritual gifts together and then did a Spiritual Gifts Inventory at home. When we came back together the following week, Sherice was anything but pleased with her results! In fact, she was determined that there was something wrong with the inventory that she took - even after double checking her answers several times. She was so frustrated and confused, because her highest area of giftedness was - you guessed it – hospitality! As a class, we gently tried to help Sherice sort through her confusion and encouraged her with the fact that we each saw God using hospitality as a spiritual gift in her life. We tried, unsuccessfully, to get her to embrace what was obvious to us. Her final statement on the subject was this, 'That can't be my gift, because I like to do that sort of thing.' You see she had bought into the lie that God would only ask her to do things that she didn't like - to help make her holy. (To my knowledge she has never accepted the fact that something she loves to do may also be how God has chosen to gift her.) Years later, I am still saddened by this outcome and Sherice's perspective on God's manner of gifting and blessing His children.

The next story is about a lady named Monique. Early in life, she had a dream, and a nudge from God, to someday work on the mission field. In her teen and college years, she participated in several short-term mission trips. She assumed that God would call her to use her medical skills in Africa, most likely because she grew up listening to many missionaries’ stories of the need and ministry in that part of the world. The only real problem that she saw with this outcome - Africa - was that she sweat terribly! Monique had a low tolerance for heat and every summer she would wonder how in the world God would be able to use her in a place that often was known for intense heat. Her faith, however, brought her to the point that if God called her to a 'hot spot' in Africa, He could also temper her body heat to make it doable. 

As the years passed by, family and confidantes watched and waited to see what God was planning for Monique's life. Amazingly, God did call her to the mission field for a short period of time after she received her medical degree. And, guess where He called her? Not Africa, not South America, not Mexico, not even Jamaica. He called her to Alaska! Yes, and the area she lived in for over 10 years (not all as a 'vocational' missionary) rarely raised above the 80 degree mark in the summer. God is so awesome, and I believe, He also has a great sense of humor!

I don't know what God has planned for you now or in the future. I don’t know the gifts that He has given you or has yet to reveal to you. But, I do have every confidence that the One who created you for a special purpose will continue working out His will in your life as you allow Him to lead your steps. He loves you - and He alone knows what will make you the most fulfilled personally and joyful as you strive to serve Him! I do believe He created each of us to enjoy life – and the unique gifts and talents He has given each one of us!

"Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:9-11

If you are unsure of, or do not know what your spiritual gifts are, I’d encourage you to take a Spiritual Gifts Inventory (SGI) to start you on your journey of discovery. As believers, we are each given special gifts and abilities that God wants each of us to use to help build His church – the Body of Christ.

If you have taken a SGI in the past, how long has it been? If it’s been over 5 years, I’d encourage you to take the time to reassess your strengths and interests. Our giftedness often develops in one or two key areas for many years, but I have no doubt that God may expand our sphere of giftedness as new opportunities are brought before us. Our Creator God is fully capable to gift us in areas that will bring sweet satisfaction, a depth of joy and a sense of purpose. We must prayerfully continue to search and uncover those special gems!

Notes:
1. For a more thorough study on spiritual gifts, check out Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
2. Online SGI’s can be found on the below listed websites. Remember that SGI’s are a tool, not a definitive answer key, in the process of prayerfully seeking out God’s gifting in your life.  
- spiritualgiftstest.com
- giftstest.com
- gifts.churchgrowth.org/spiritual-gifts-survey/
- www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_MYCS_030526_Spiritual_Gifts_Survey.pdf


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